Fresh cilantro and peppers in a corn salsa

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Yesterday I went out to my plot early in the morning to water the tomato plants, all of which are suffering with various degrees of yellowing, browning, spotty and wilted leaves. The plants have quite a few tomatoes on them; a few will be ready to pick soon, but many have succumbed to blossom-end rot. It's not looking too promising overall on the tomato front, I'm afraid.

But let's focus on the positive, shall we? I picked another pepper, an onion, a cucumber, beans, and fresh cilantro. My lone cilantro plant went from sprout to flower in virtually one week, it seems. Cilantro is notoriously difficult to grow around here because our summers get so hot so quickly. I really must try one of the slow-bolt varieties. For now, though, I am happy with what I've got. It is so fragrant; I wish you could smell it through your computer screen.

I used the cilantro as the herb of choice for a corn salsa. I started with fresh corn cut straight from the cob and sauteed for a few minutes in olive oil. I used Chef Emeril Lagasse's $80,000 trick for cutting the corn: set a towel on the cutting board so the kernels won't bounce all over the counter top and onto the floor. (I refer to it as the $80,000 trick because that's what Lagasse said he paid to learn this in culinary school. Better him than me!)

After the corn cooled, I added chopped peppers -- my own fresh peppers! I had a green bell, the purple bell (which to my surprise was green inside), and two banana peppers.

One clove of garlic, a little lime juice, salt and pepper, and a few dashes cayenne pepper finished it off for a delightful salad. Summer in a bowl.


Blogger Tracey said...

Ooooo! Lovely! Thanks so much for the idea.

8:24 AM  
Blogger Dirty Fingernails said...

thanks for sharing the 80,000 Emeril tip.. I had previously cut the corn off the cob with a smaller upside down bowl in a larger one and set the corn on top of that..

12:14 PM  
Blogger Gardenista said...

I am interested to know why you think the tomatoes have blossom end rot and what you might do about it? Do you use any mulch?

4:17 PM  
Blogger Christa said...

Tracey, Dirty Fingernails,
You're welcome!

Blossom-end rot is indicated by a black, rotting spot that appears on the end of the tomatoes while they're still on the vine. It's caused by calcium deficiency and/or irregular watering. I just gave the plants some fish emulsion (for the calcium) over the weekend, so I hope that helps. I don't use any mulch on them (just compost) but there's no compost available at our community garden right now. Do you use mulch on yours? Does it help?

5:57 PM  
Blogger Gardenista said...

I only have 3 spindly tomato plants, but I have had thoughts of using that red plastic stuff they advertise these days. For 3 plants though, I don't know if it's really worth it! I was thinking though that besides the tomato-specific effects (I read about it in the catalog), it might keep the moisture stable. I wish I could eat in your kitchen...looks delicious over there.

6:50 PM  
Blogger Muum said...

I saw someone who was using red paper plates (cut to fit around the stem) as a cheap alternative to buying red plastic, that might be an idea.

The salsa sounds yummy!

11:26 PM  
Blogger Ed Bruske said...

Even better corn cutting trick--invert a small bowl inside a really big bowl. Set the stem end of the cob on top of the inverted bowl. The kernels will fall directly into the big bowl and you won't have a messy towel that has to be laundered.

9:14 AM  
Blogger Rosengeranium said...

Now I'm hungry! If I could work out a fast way to cross that big, blue thing in between us you would get another guest for dinner :-)

11:11 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

That looks delicious I will definately be having a go at that if the sweetcorn which I have only just planted out in soaking wet Lancashire, England actually produce any ears!

3:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your fresh vegetables look wonderful! So far, I have tiny red and green peppers, and tiny tomatoes.

The corn recipe looks good, when I ever get anything fresh, I will try it. I am glad someone came up with a way to cut the corn without a mess.

5:34 PM  
Blogger kate said...

Does your corn salsa ever look and sound delicious!! I will try and make it, since it doesn't look complicated. I was surprised too, that the purple pepper had a green interior. Oh and the scent of cilantro is one of the best... I use it as often as I can. There's something about cilantro, garlic and red onions that I love.

I hope your tomatoes recuperate!

9:55 AM  

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